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Geraldton Marine Rescue building survives winter swells as they look to shore up defence over summer

Lachlan AllenGeraldton Guardian
Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue commander Damien Healy at the Marine Rescue building.
Camera IconGeraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue commander Damien Healy at the Marine Rescue building. Credit: Jessica Moroney/Geraldton Guardi/RegionalHUB

A local marine rescue group says they are relieved to make it through to summer after erosion threatened the future of their building — however, they are not of the woods yet.

Fifteen metres of coastline in front of the Marine Rescue Geraldton building was lost earlier this year because of rapid erosion brought on by storms and winter swells at Point Moore.

Commander Damien Healy said the group has identified the Geraldton Multipurpose Centre as an alternative location should they have to move.

“It has views of the ocean, you can see boats coming and going,” he said.

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However, Mr Healy stressed the short-term plan was to defend the base while they look for a long-term home.

“It’s pretty hard to find a suitable location, we’re still working through that with the various government departments,” he said.

He said without sandbagging efforts to save the building at the end of August, it is unlikely they would have made it through to summer.

“Next winter is what concerns us, we need to shore up our defences over summer,” Mr Healy said.

Geraldton Marine Rescue has agreed with the City of Greater Geraldton to evacuate the base if it comes within 4m of the encroaching shoreline.

“It came within about 9m (in August) but we gained 2m by defending the building,” he said.

City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said they were monitoring the erosion at Point Moore regularly.

“In the event it should be required, we are working closely with Geraldton Volunteer Marine Rescue to help identify alternative base locations for the future provision of this important community service,” he said.

The City recently received a $750,000 Hotspot Coastal Adaptation and Protection grant for the installation of a further three to four geotextile sand container groynes at Sunset Beach.

“Detailed design works are currently under way for this, with construction anticipated to commence in next year,” he said

First installed in 2019, the GSC groyne has been monitored since to assess its effectiveness in providing resilience to the coastline.

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